8 Best Outdoor Stereos for the Beach, Camping and Adventure in 2018

Take your tunes with you wherever you go

While most buyers choose Bluetooth speakers for their connectivity and convenience, some buyers are looking for those units that can survive a week in the wild or at the beach. When it comes to choosing the best for your money, you want a speaker that can take on every environment and just keep playing hit after hit. These speakers generally have an Ingress Protection Rating (IP), which rates how well they can stand up to any intrusion from dust, water or even drops. Whether it’s a wet and wild adventure or a relaxing hike on a trail, these speakers will have you singing along until the batteries run out.

Capable of connecting to three mobile devices at one time and with more than 20 hours of battery life on a single charge, the waterproof JBL Charge 3 is well worth a look. Rated IPX7, you can rest comfortably that the Charge 3 can be used at the beach or near a pool without worrying about accidentally frying the speaker. The IP rating itself allows the Charge 3 to be fully submerged in a meter of water for up to 30 minutes without damage. In other words, it’ll survive an accidental drop in the ocean but don’t leave it there indefinitely.

At 1.76 pounds and 3.43 x 9.09 x 3.48 inches, the JBL is a big speaker, but with big size comes big sound; it's capable of filling a large room with booming sound, but it is best experienced within 20 feet. As the JBL can stand both horizontally and vertically, the sound is best in the horizontal orientation where you'll find just the right amount of bass no matter what genre of music you play. Additionally, there’s a built-in microphone for use as a speakerphone with mic quality that will leave many callers surprised you’re using a standalone speaker.

Powered by two eight-watt stereo drivers and dual passive subwoofers, the Anker SoundCore Sport XL Bluetooth Speaker adds an IP67 rating for an extra tough build waterproof up to one meter (and it's also dust and shock-resistant). The inclusion of Bluetooth 4.1 technology adds extended range for a Bluetooth connection that works up to 66 feet outdoors without losing connection. The Anker also adds the ability to charge a separate device, including a smartphone or tablet via the charging port and built-in 5200mAh battery for a little extra piece of mind (it lasts 15 hours if you're playing music).

There’s portable and then there’s the UE Roll 2, which at .73 pounds, makes it lighter than a can of soda. The UE Roll 2 is small at 1.6 x 5.3 x 5.3 inches and, fortunately, the small size doesn’t affect the audio quality or wireless range. UE takes the Roll 2 up a notch with a wireless range that extends to almost 100 feet before audio will start cutting out. As for the audio quality itself, the smaller size means less bass response overall, but mids and highs sound great and make this a perfect poolside or beach companion. Although there’s no dedicated bass driver here, there’s a two-inch main driver and two smaller .75-inch tweeters, which sound great at both low and high volume with little distortion overall.

The overall design is sleek; the grille itself is tough featuring a nylon weave texture that seems both durable and solid all while not being considered a “rugged” speaker. As for fighting the elements, the UE Roll 2 features an IPX7 rating, which allows sustaining submersion in water for 30 minutes at a depth of one meter before worrying about losing your investment. Unfortunately, the smaller size does mean a slightly smaller battery, but UE still manages to crank out an impressive nine hours of life before it requires a recharge. An included bungee cord allows you to strap it to a bike or backpack and there is an available smartphone app for controlling the party from a distance.  

Powered by a massive 6600mAh battery, the Sharkk Commando Bluetooth 4.0 Speaker is capable of putting out more than 24 hours of  music on a single charge. The 10-watt speaker sounds great for music and allows a little personalization courtesy of the advanced EQ settings to adjust the sound quality for both indoor and outdoor playback. The Sharkk doubles as a portable power bank for charging up a smartphone or tablet and it also has an IP65 rating for withstanding rain, water or direct spray from a shower or hose nozzle. The rubberized coating around the speaker makes it dustproof for even more peace of mind against the elements.

With four massive audio drivers, a rugged exterior and IPX5 weatherproofing, the BRAVEN BRV-XXL is party-ready despite its small size. Built to withstand any weather condition, the rugged build of the XXL is designed to be completely water resistant, dirtproof and sandproof. The Bluetooth pairing allows connected devices to roam up to 33 feet away from the XXL before audio quality starts to drop off. Speaking of audio quality, the 4 HD audio drivers and one subwoofer offer plenty of sound to fill a large room.

With powerful sound, you need a powerful battery and the XXL doesn’t disappoint. It has a battery capable of 14 hours of uninterrupted playtime. As for the design around the battery, it screams utilitarian and doesn’t make any effort to hide the fact that packaging was likely a secondary focus. At 18 pounds and measuring 20.25 x 8.25 x 9.5-inches, it’s not light, but with a handle and shoulder strap, the XXL becomes far easier to transport from one party location to the next. Realistically, if space is restricted while traveling, the XXL might need to stay home, but if you’re taking a trip that requires big sound and roughing the elements, the Braven XXL is ready to go.

There's no shortage of great-sounding Bluetooth speaker options, but the the UE Boom 2 offers remarkable sound, with two 1.75-inch active drivers and three-inch passive radiators. Bass levels are both solid and have just enough of a beat to not feel overdone (and you can manually control it via an available iPhone and Android smartphone app, so you can reduce the treble to find the perfect pitch and sound). While it won't fill a whole house with sound, that's not the intent of Bluetooth speakers at this size and so long as you don't crank the volume all the way up to 100 percent, you'll find no distortion from the Boom 2.

The IPX7-rated Boom 2 offers waterproofing up to 30 minutes and three feet of depth before there's a risk to the internal hardware. The IP rating also includes shockproof certification making the Boom 2 the perfect add-on to your gear for a party on the beach. Available in a slew of colors, the Boom offers up to 15 hours of battery life and up to 100 foot Bluetooth wireless range. As a bonus, UE also included "say it to play it" with Siri and Google Now integration for Android and iPhone smartphone owners.

In the "perfect for outdoors" Bluetooth speaker space, "budget" is a relative term since there's still added cost for something more durable and rugged than the typical Bluetooth speaker. At just 6.49 ounces and 3.7 x 1.6 x 5.5 inches in size, the JBL Clip 2 is both budget and backpack-friendly, so don't let its wallet-friendly pricing fool you. The Clip 2 features IPX7 waterproof protection with 30 minutes of protection in three feet of water. The all-plastic housing features a nylon grill covering and a built-in carabiner that allows you to connect the Clip 2 to pretty much anything. The integrated 3.5mm cable can connect to devices sans Bluetooth for a quick connection without paired devices.

Roughly the size of a hockey puck, the Clip 2 punches well above its pay grade when it comes to sound. Realistically, the Clip 2 sounds best when its volume is amped up; softer volumes come in a little thinner and flatter. Regardless of volume, the audio quality is distortion-free and has plenty of warmth with the highs.

Beyond volume, JBL offers more than eight hours of battery life on the Clip 2 and based on numerous online reviews, that number very well may be conservative with multiple users seeing more than 10 hours of use. If you're looking for something inexpensive, but still durable enough for the pool or beach, the Clip 2 is the best budget-friendly Bluetooth speaker available.

With a clean design that's as simple as it is stylish, the Sony XB10 Portable Bluetooth Wireless Speaker excels with up to 16 hours of battery life on a single charge. Available in four different colors and capable of connecting to external devices via Bluetooth or NFC, the water-resistant build ensures that listening indoors or outside comes worry-free. At .71 pounds and standing 4.25 inches tall, its diminutive size should not fool you since this compact speaker packs more than enough bass. Adding to the fun is the XB10’s capability to connect two speakers together for a booming stereo sound. Inside, there's a passive radiator that works with the internal speaker to provide an excellent low-end response that results in Sony’s EXTRA BASS audio sounding like it’s coming from a portable speaker four times larger.

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